Provide non-monetary benefits to local communities for sustainably managing their forest and its wildlife (e.g. better education, infrastructure development)

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One before-and-after study in the Republic of Congo found that 70% of the central chimpanzees reintroduced to an area where local people were provided non-monetary benefits, alongside other interventions, survived over seven years.
  • One before-and-after study in India found that numbers of hoolock gibbons increased by 66% over five years after providing local communities with alternative income, alongside other interventions.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A before-and-after trial in 1994-1999 in mixed tropical forest in Conkouati-Douli National Park, Republic of Congo found that the majority of central chimpanzees Pan troglodytes troglodytes that were reintroduced in an area where local people were provided non-monetary benefits for supporting the programme alongside 16 other interventions, survived over five years. Out of 20 reintroduced chimpanzees, fourteen (70%) survived. No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether the population decrease was significant. Local communities were provided emergency medical care and were assisted otherwise. No further details on this intervention were given. Monetary benefits were provided to compensate people for the former use of resources at the site. Rehabilitated orphaned chimpanzees underwent vaccination, parasite treatments and veterinary screens before being radio-collared and translocated in four subgroups to the release site where resident conspecifics occurred. Staff members were permanently present to monitor primate health, provide supplementary food if necessary and examine dead animals. The area status was upgraded from reserve to national park in 1999. Local people were relocated from the release site. Some individuals were treated when sick or injured. TV and radio advertisements were used to raise chimpanzee conservation. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A before-and-after trial in 2004-2009 in tropical forest in the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, India found that hoolock gibbons Hoolock hoolock increased by 66% over five years after providing alternative income to local communities along with other interventions. The gibbon population increased from 64 individuals in 17 groups in 2004 to 106 individuals in 26 groups (and five solitary males) in 2009. Canopy cover also increased by 3.5% while degraded forest decreased by 4.1%. No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether these changes were significant. Families within local communities that were selected through socio-economic studies were provided with more efficient stoves, bio-gas plants, handlooms and domestic ducks. Local communities were trained in mushroom cultivation, honeybee keeping and duck husbandry. A large-scale education and awareness programme was implemented to promote gibbon conservation within Assam and training, monitoring and legal orientation programmes were carried out for the sanctuary staff. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Junker, J., Kühl, H.S., Orth, L., Smith, R.K., Petrovan, S.O. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Primate Conservation. Pages 431-482 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Primate Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Primate Conservation
Primate Conservation

Primate Conservation - Published 2017

Primate Synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust